What’s the first thing we should do when installing an IT system? According to the lord chief justice, we should open our history books.

Addressing the Society for Computers and Law last month, Lord Thomas of Cwmgiedd began by quoting Hegel – ‘Nations and governments have never learned anything from history’ – before moving on to Churchill’s (attributed) aphorism: ‘Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.’ Thomas then drew nine lessons from HMCTS technology blunders in order to inform its latest £375m digital court programme.

‘This is a project on which we cannot [afford to] fail,’ he said. History will be the judge.